From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
A former Nigerian Ambassador to Vietnam, Ambassador Mathias Okafor, has open up on reasons why Nigeria is currently bedevilled with insecurity.
Okafor who spoke with Daily Sun during the unveiling of his autobiography in Abuja, said the summary of what Nigerians are suffering today was collective neglect of the less privileged and selfishness.
The 75 years old Okafor stated that if privileged Nigerians had trained the less privileged, they would not have gone the way of banditry.
The former Manager, Levers Brothers Nigeria Limited (now Unilever Plc), disclosed that one of the reasons he authored his autobiography was to show the country which is currently bedevilled with insecurity that there was a system his village, Ubegu-Amaze, Isiagu, Ivo Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, used in time past to curb criminality, crime and other vices.
“These are things I highlighted in my book. If people read it, they will see how the villagers took care of all these things we are suffering.
“The summary of what we are suffering is selfishness because if you had trained others, and if the society had taken care of others, they won’t go the way of banditry, they won’t go stealing, they won’t go to do things against the society.
“The villagers knew that once you were born in my own time, you were the child of all. They discipline you not because you were Mr so, so, and so, but because you have done wrong. And you learnt to be sure and careful that everybody was watching you.
“We were not encouraging people that wherever you bring money, we make you a chief. If you are a thief in my town, nobody will marry your daughter and nobody will ask his son to marry your child. And if you invite people and they don’t know the source of your money, they won’t even come for your feast.
“So, these are the things I highlighted in my book to show people that some of the things we are suffering now are our collective neglect and selfishness,” Okafor said.
Okafor further said over the years, he assisted people without inquiring about their places of origin, particularly someone who was at the verge of committing suicide, whose life he saved while he was envoy in Vietnam.
He further disclosed that his autobiography was to highlight the goodness of God in his life, what people do and should not do in their lives, including showing that collective concern for everybody made the society good.
In his remarks, former President of the Senate and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said the book was more of a presentation of the history of Isiagu community other than the life and times of Ambassador Okafor.
Anyim added that the history of the community will not be complete without a mention of Ambassador Okafor.
“He has been a pathfinder, he is a door that you open that all of us walked through and when you read this book, you will find out that it is partly his story and largely the story of the community,” Anyim said.
Anyim further hailed Ambassador Okafor as one of the early few who went to school from Isiagu and the community offered him to Levers Brothers, he excelled and made his marks; also offered to Nigeria Breweries, he excelled and made his marks and to the Federal Government as ambassador and excelled and made his marks.
While emphasising on the need for people to write their biography, Anyim said it was necessary because others will tell your story in such a way that you will not recognise yourself.
“So, what he has done is one task I have tried to do in the last five years and I have not completed mine,” Anyim disclosed.